Sample Maine e-mail
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Sample letter to e-mail list owners
e-mail to groups asking them to have their members to contact their rep:
Hi [insert group name here] Team,
Can you share the following e-mail with your members and others?
This issue is now before the Maine Senate and will come to vote soon. It's especially important for children on the autism spectrum and other special needs.
Let me know if you have any questions or need more information.
Sample letter to lists
Subject: Contact The State Senators and Reps to Protect New Rules on Restraint and Seclusion
This school year, the State of Maine updated the regulations covering the use of restraint and seclusion in public schools. The updated rules, called Chapter 33 (see: http://www.maine.gov/doe/school-safety/restraints/index.html), end the use of restraint and seclusion as "therapy". They also include effective new procedures for helping children feel safe at school.
Now, a bill is in the Maine Senate (SP 79) to roll back the improvments. This bill allows restraint or seclusion "to prevent disruption of the educational environment." http://www.mainelegislature.org/legis/bills/getPDF.asp?paper=SP0079&item=1&snum=126
Please contact your state representative and senator today and ask them to protect the updated Chapter 33. Below is a sample e-mail you can use.
Contact information your reprsentative is here: http://www.maine.gov/legis/house/townlist.htm
[your name and group or use PAPPI as the group Parents and Professionals for Positive Interventions http://wiki.laptop.org/go/PAPPI]
Sample e-mail to legislators
Dear [insert rep or senators name here]
I am writing to ask your support for the updated Chapter 33 governing on the use of physical restraint and seclusion in Maine schools. The new rules make a big difference for all kids, especially children with special needs.
Restraint and seclusion create a huge risk for injury to the child and adults involved. They also create psychological problems, including trauma, in young children. Children can learn their caregivers will place them in ‘scary’ situations and they can associate school with invasive and traumatic experiences.
Restraint and seclusion have no therapeutic benefit. When children’s behaviors don't improve, teachers may use more forceful behavior-control procedures. When such procedures become routine, the risk of abuse is dramatically heightened.
The alternative, positive behavioral intervention and support (see http://www.pbis.org/) has been proven effective in school systems around the country. PBIS improves the school environment for all children.
The updated Chapter 33 was created to help all people feel safe in Maine schools.
A new bill has been introduced in the Maine Senate (SP 79) which would roll back the improvements. It allows restraint or seclusion "to prevent disruption of the educational environment." I urge you to vote against passage of SP 79 and instead support training to fully implement Chapter 33 as updated.
[your name and address]
Note: this was adapted from the Issue Brief found here: http://www.challengingbehavior.org/do/resources/documents/brief_preventing.pdf
Note: top priority contacts are members of the education committee:
Sen Rebecca Millett (D-Cumberland County) co-chair
Sen Christopher Johnson (D-Lincoln County) email@example.com
Sen Brian Langley (R-Hancock County) firstname.lastname@example.org
Rep Bruce MacDonald (D-Boothbay) co-chair email@example.com
Rep Mary Pennell Nelson (D-Falmouth) firstname.lastname@example.org
Rep Helen Rankin (D-Hiram) email@example.com
Rep Matthea Elisabeth Larsen Daughtry (D-Brunswick) firstname.lastname@example.org
Rep Brian Hubbell (D-Bar Harbor) RepBrian.Hubbell@legislature.maine.gov
Rep Victoria Kornfield (D-Bangor) RepTori.Kornfield@legislature.maine.gov
Rep Peter Johnson (R-Greenville) email@example.com
Rep Joyce Maker (R-Calais) firstname.lastname@example.org
Rep Michael McClellan (R-Raymond) email@example.com
Rep Matthew Pouliot (R-Augusta) firstname.lastname@example.org
Rep Madonna Soctomah (Passamaquoddy Tribe) Sipayik@midmaine.com